Patagonia Nine Trails Backpack 28L Review - Tested - Active Gear Review (2024)

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Patagonia Nine Trails Backpack 28L Review - Tested - Active Gear Review (1)

The Patagonia Nine Trails Backpack 28L is designed for the adventure-seeking hiker who wants a simple pack for essential gear. This pack has only the storage features that a hiker/adventurer wants and not the extra pockets specific to pens, calculators, sunglasses, tablets, etc.

Using a lightweight Cordura fabric and a DWR coating, this pack is designed for both small and long journeys, no matter what the weather has in store. For those not familiar with Cordura, it is a leading fabric textile that is commonly used from high-end outdoor brands such as Patagonia when durability is a must. In addition to outdoor industry brands, Cordura fabric is also used in other verticals such as Tactical/Military, outdoor Workwear, Travel, and more.

To keep the pack from wetting out and letting water saturate the pack in wet weather, the durable water repellent helps keep this pack dry. This is not a waterproof layer, but rather a fabric finish that sheds light rain and snow and allows the material to continue to breathe. DWR’s are chemical-rich and not environmentally friendly and with Patagonia’s commitment to the environment, they have come up with a new friendlier formula that will be used in its product starting in the fall of 2019. This pack missed the deadline, but I am sure that if it stays in the lineup, Patagonia will use it’s new DWR formula on the Nine Trails Backpack Line.

Patagonia Nine Trails Backpack 28L Storage Capacity

The storage capacity on the Nine Trails lineup is 14L, 20L, 28L, and 36L for unisex packs. The women’s specific versions include 18L and 26L capacity options. Within the different liter capacities, each pack has two sizing options, S/M and L/XL. Larger sized packs typically have a little extra room, but I would never recommend sacrificing the fit for a little extra storage space.

I tested out the 28L version in a L/XL size as I am 170lbs and 6’0 tall. I enjoy a little extra capacity for longer days where I need a little more food and gear, and also for winter activities where I need the extra room for bulkier clothing options.

Patagonia Nine Trails Backpack 28L Review - Tested - Active Gear Review (3)

On the 28L pack, there is a main compartment that is designed to store most of your gear. While this is the largest compartment of the pack, I find it to somewhat limiting for larger items. It’s not a compartment in which you can dump all your gear. I found that it’s good for storing water, food, a jacket and an additional layer.

The additional pockets is where the 28L capacity pack and help you out. There are two hip belt pockets that are great for stashing energy bars and a cell phone or small point and shoot camera. The two side mesh pockets are plenty big enough to store a standard Nalgene or similar sized water bottle.

There is also a hidden pocket on the front of the pack that is big enough to carry sunscreen and a few other items. There is also a pocket on the inside of the pack to carry things you might not want to get wet such as car keys.

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Hidden outside pocket

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Small pocket at the top of the backpack

For larger items like rain jackets, there is a larger mesh pocket on the front of the outside of the pack.

Patagonia Nine Trails Backpack 28L Pack Comfort

Through my testing, I found the comfort of the Nine Trails 28L backpack to be average on fit comfort. Average does not mean bad in this case, but it doesn’t stand out to me as a game-changer. Through my testing, I found the size large to be just a tad long at times where I couldn’t get the back to synch with my upper body, no matter how much I adjusted the various straps. This may get better with time as backpacks tend to have a small break-in period where the foam in the shoulder straps and hip belts tends to soften up and provide a more contoured fit.

This pack offers plenty of adjustments including:

  • Shoulder straps
  • Hip belt
  • Load lifters(near your shoulders)
  • Sternum strap.
  • There are also two side compression straps on both sides of the pack to better secure your load.

For those who want to make this pack a little less rigid or cut out some of the weight, you can also remove the frame sheet which is pretty easy to do. There is a small horizontal zipper near the top of the inside of the pack. After unzipping, you need to flex the sheet a little to get it out of the pack.

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Patagonia Nine Trails 28L Frame Sheet

Hydration compatibility

Storing and using your hydration with the Nine Trails 28L is pretty simple. There is an inside sleeve that allows you to store your reservoir (up to 3 liters) but keep in mind this will also take away from inside storage space. The drinking tube has a small hole near the top of the back to feed it through and you can place the hose on either the left or right shoulder strap.

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Camelbak bladder inside pack

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Hose feeding out of the inside of the pack

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Final Thoughts on the Patagonia Nine Trails Pack

The Patagonia Nine Trails pack is designed for outdoor adventures and just that. It’s not designed as a daypack for school or the office, but you can try to force the topic if you only want to use one backpack for everything. The pack is simple in design, but it has all the necessary features that you want in a pack. Depending on how much you need to carry, there is a capacity option for almost everyone’s desires. For more information, visit Patagonia.com.

Patagonia Nine Trails Backpack 28L Review - Tested - Active Gear Review (2024)
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